Six on Saturday – Anarchy

I’m not very happy with my garden at the moment, and I’m sure the garden would say exactly the same about me.  I have once again slipped into a cycle of neglect – no dead heading, no slug watch, no bother.  And it shows.  Anarchy has ensued.  My Six on Saturday this week is a reflection on that state, some have overcome, some have suffered.  If you still haven’t caught on about the cause for world peace that is SoS, then check out The Propagator’s blog and he will tell you all about it and you can also indulge in stories from across the world.

First we have a success, Tibouchina urvilleana, which hasn’t turned a hair through assault by wind, rain and scorch.  The downy buds are almost as beautiful as the deep purple flowers, yet to come.

Next we have Dahlia ‘Candy Eyes’, another plant ear-marked for a client which never managed to escape my clutches.  Situated just outside the back door, it has still been victim of the dreaded molluscs and is fit to bust out of its pot.  Still I think we can look past a few nibbles and appreciate your pretty pink face, no need to hang your head.  I’ll repot you soon, promise.

In the world of mollusc gastronomy, gazanias appear to be the latest trend, the sought out delicacy.  All the cool snails in town are raving about it.  Not just any old part of the plant however, the petals are the most sought after, leaving unattractive stumps in their wake.  No wonder these two new blooms are staying firm shut, too dangerous to go out there!

This is part of the bronze fennel forest that is engulfing the back of one of my borders, squishing and squashing as it expands.  Strange, as the year before last I dug up every last piece.

Now for a plant that gets ten out of ten for fortitude.  This Dahlia coccinea was sheared off at the ground earlier in the year, before rising like a phoenix out of the ashes.  Just coming into bloom, a agapanthus fell on its head.  Some years are like that.

Lastly a fuchsia.  This lives in the front garden and has been subject to the most rigorous of storms over the last few weeks.  Who would have guessed it?

All done, until next time!

Six on Saturday – The Builders Are Coming …….

Mirabilis longiflora 'Angel Trumpets'

September, how did that happen?  This “time passing” malarkey is quite disturbing sometimes.  It is Six on Saturday time once more.  What Andrew Lloyd Webber is to musical theatre, The Prop is to the Meme.  But much more handsome.  Take a look at his blog and marvel at some of his greatest hits, the divas and the divans, complete with hissy fits and jazz hands.

“What has any of this got to do with builders?” you may well ask.  Well, the invisible leak in our roof has now become invisible “leaks”, and we are (yet again, using a different builder) going to try to get it, and its new buddy, fixed.  As we live in a three storey house this means a substantial amount of scaffolding.  Which in turn means (dum, di, dum, di, dum) scaffolders and builders.  Don’t get me wrong, they are noble professions, but in my experience they have little regard for what I hold dearly, that is “plants”.  Last time there were tears.  I am expecting more.

“No we definitely won’t be going over there”  “Nor there”  “Five foot (how quaint) from the front and rear, all will be safe”.  I could see the head honcho’s eyes glowing red as he attempted to placate me.  As we are having a royal visit next weekend, yes Her Not So Royal Highness, Peggy of the municipality of Creigiau, is visiting with her entourage.  There will be absolutely no hope of doing anything during this sojourn except fanning and curtsying.  Which means I made a start today.  In a feeble attempt at damage limitation I have started shuffling pots.  The following is what I saw (apart from a lot of sneaky slugs and mud) whilst I toiled and prayed for mercy.

Firstly we have the elegant and fleeting flower of Mirabilis longiflora ‘Angel Trumpets’.  Grown at extraordinary speed from seed this year, so fast that I have taken several cuttings already which are thriving.  It is currently languishing in amongst yet-to-flower salvias.  I don’t think I have placed it correctly.  It is pencilled in for a shuffle next year.

Crocosmia 'Coleton Fishacre'

Now we have Crocosmia ‘Coleton Fishacre’ just beginning to flower.  This was a bit of a surprise as I thought it was C. ‘Emily McKenzie’.  Now I wonder where she could have got to?  The scaffolders are definitely not going anywhere near this bed.   I have yet to give the builders my “do not throw anything, liquid or solid, on the borders, do not stub your fags out in my pots” instructions.  For them to ignore.  Obviously.

Armeria pseudameria

Although I only have a mini greenhouse, it is going to have to move, along with all my cuttings, sown seeds and newly potted-ons.  This sixer (all the best things come in sixes) of Armeria pseudarmeria  (that I have been spelling incorrectly according to the semi-diety of the RHS) may have to take its chances in the big bad world.  Needs to toughen up a bit before the winter.  Might be a good thing.  See, I’m looking on the bright side already!

Persicaria filiformis

This Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis, Fili to her mates, is just coming into its own after struggling through the winter.  All we need now is a size 12 steel toecap ……….. but of course this will not happen as neither scaffolder or builder will be anywhere near this area.  Grown primarily for its foliage, which I have always thought resembles a psychological ink blot test (beaked bird, possibly evil with big boots on), but also has the most delicate, and charming, red flower spikes.

grasshopper

This little chap was not happy about his home being shifted.  He lives in amongst the greenery of Dahlia ‘Peggy’s Pearler’ which is being very slow to flower.  There will be trouble if there is no action by next week.  I may have to stick some plastic ones on.  She will never notice.

Dahlia coccinea

Lastly we have Dahlia coccinea, the paintbrush washed orange and red petals are glorious. This bloom sits alongside standard deep red flowers.  It is known to be a variable plant, this might be a reaction to weather or perhaps just an attention seeker.

That is it for another week.   Don’t forget to see what everyone else has been up to at Chez Prop, who I thank for being a wonderfully magnanimous host.

With a fair wind, plenty of tea and chocolate hobnobs, with my menacing look saved for emergencies, in the next few weeks we might have a dry house and an undamaged garden.  Dreams do come true.  They do don’t they?  Tell me they do!

Six on Saturday – I made it in the end

Dahlia coccinea

I definitely wasn’t going to do a SoS this week, categorically not.  Then I relented, I changed my mind.  Which is par for the course.  Please bear this in mind if you are trying to persuade me to co-star with Hugh Jackman in a remake of Les Mis.

Here we are again, and which means so is the King of Prop-ing (if you say it right it does scan, you may have to practice or take my word for it), pop over to discover what is happening in the Kingdom of Prop.

Let us begin with Dahlia coccinea, grown from seed several years ago, and only now coming into flower.  All my dahlias stayed out last winter, with little if any protection.  This is not a boast.  My head is hung in shame.  And for this neglect I have been rewarded with sad plants that are blooming late.  Next year ….

Hibiscus syriacus

Secondly is an unnamed (names cost more) hibiscus, rescued from the bargain bin of a supermarket.  Most probably a cultivar of Hibiscus syriacus, it deserved better treatment.  I am yet undecided whether it will remain Chez Nous, or be adopted by one of my lovely clients.

agapanthus

Now an agapanthus, the old faithful who never fails to perform.  But all is not sweetness and light. Over winter it acts as a cosy hostel for the all especially delinquent snails in the neighbourhood.  As I am on to this ploy, they are gathered up and relocated, mainly to snail heaven.  If I am feeling particularly magnanimous they are put in the green bin where they go to ….. well who knows?!

Scabiosa 'Plum Pudding'

Next we have Scabiosa ‘Plum Pudding’, itself a rather unruly customer, lolling all over the place with little if any decorum.  Luckily the flowers are so ripstockingly wonderful, it is forgiven this lacking in the grace department.

sempervivum

How are we getting on?  Are we there yet?  Not quite.  Here is a little sempervivum.  It thrives on sun and neglect.  Double whammy.

Salvia 'Nachvlinder'

And finally we have Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’ and friend.  I snapped away at this for a while, flowers dancing in the wind, bee holding on for dear life.  All the fun of the fair.

Another SoS under my belt.  And to think I wasn’t going to bother.  Thanks Your Propping Highness, until next time.